Monday, May 31, 2010

JERRY HERMAN, WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA, NELLIE McKAY...AND MORE

(Veteran composer Jerry Herman is basking in the glow of the success of the revival of his 1983 Broadway hit "La Cage aux Folles." (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / May 26, 2010)
Jerry Herman tastes success anew with 'La Cage aux Folles'
A revival on Broadway starring Kelsey Grammer has earned 11 Tony Award nominations.



Veteran composer Jerry Herman is basking in the glow of the success of the revival of his 1983 Broadway hit "La Cage aux Folles." (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / May 26, 2010)


Three decades ago, Tony Award-winning composer Jerry Herman ("Hello, Dolly!," "Mame") went to see the French film "La Cage aux Folles," a comedy about a gay couple — a manager of a drag nightclub in St. Tropez and his lover, the club's star attraction — and what happens when the manager's son brings home his fiancée's very conservative family.

"I came home and said, 'This has to be my next musical,' " recalls Herman. "I called my agent and he told me that other people were working on it and I was too late.
He was so sorry.
But what happened is that they got rid of that group and they wanted to start all over again with me.
I always felt it was meant to be."


Herman starts to laugh. "This is what I told my closest friends: I called each one of them and said, 'I am going to do a new show that I know has very limited appeal, but I don't care because I love the material.'
They all laugh now. They said, 'Limited? We don't think so.' It's just been a beautiful surprise."


Just like the Les Cagelles performers at the nightclub, the musical has had amazing legs.

The original Broadway production, which ran from 1983-87, starred George Hearn as the flamboyant Albin and Gene Barry as his partner, Georges.
It received eight Tony nominations and won six of the awards, including best musical, director (Arthur Laurents), actor (Hearn) and score for Herman.




A 2004-05 Broadway revival didn't find an audience but won two Tonys, including one for best revival. Then in 2008, a more intimate, scaled-down version directed by Terry Johnson premiered in London and won the Laurence Olivier Award for best musical revival as well as for best actor, for Douglas Hodge as Albin.

That production, also starring Kelsey Grammer as Georges, opened last month on Broadway to great acclaim. The production picked up three Drama Desk awards on Sunday, plus a special award to Herman "for enchanting and dazzling audiences with his exuberant music and heartfelt lyrics for more than half a century." It will compete for 11 awards at the Tonys on June 13.
Relaxing in the well-appointed living room of his expansive Beverly Hills condo, the 78-year-composer, who won the lifetime achievement Tony last year, says the success of the new "Cage" has been a "remarkable" experience.
"It's the same music, the same lyrics, the same wonderful book by Harvey Fierstein.
But it's totally new. It's in the perspective of the audience going into a little club."

The lavish 1983 production, says Herman, was perfect for its time. "It was when we were doing big glamorous musicals," he says. "Now, 27 years later, this new production is so perfect for today because it's gritty.
It's real and it's not glamorous at all. The entire evening focuses on the three people, the two guys and the son.
It's about people and it's about the difficulty of a son being ashamed of a person who brought him up as a mother. You are never distracted by a sequin or a bead. Instead of 30 pieces, the orchestra is stronger with eight pieces."

It can take Herman weeks and even months to write a song, but it took him only one day to compose "I Am What I Am," the rousing and emotional end to Act I, which became a hit for Gloria Gaynor and a gay pride anthem.
"Harvey Fierstein came in one day with a beautiful speech to end Act I," Herman recalls.
"In the middle of the speech, Albin said, 'I am what I am, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.'
I remember him reading this and I said, 'Wait a second. If you will OK my using those five words, I will write you a killer closing number for Act I.'
Harvey said, 'Go have a good time.' The next day, I called both Arthur and Harvey and said, 'I have something to play for you. I can't wait.' It just came to me."



Herman is really the last of the traditionalist Broadway musical composers in the tradition of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser and Cole Porter. His scores run the gamut, from flashy, catchy tunes to big production numbers to heartfelt ballads. It's no wonder that two of his "Hello, Dolly!" tunes, "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" and "It Only Takes a Moment," taught the little robot "Wall-E" all he needed to know about the human race in the 2008 animated Oscar winner.

"I think his music is universal," says "Cage" musical director Todd Ellison. "I think it touches on so many levels. The lyrics are concise and the melodies fit them
perfectly. So you have a song [from 'Cage'] like 'Song on the Sand,' which is a gorgeous melody and the sentiment is so incredibly moving. He turns on the faucet and out comes the melody. It just flows so easily for him."
Over the last 27 years, Herman has received letters about how "Cage" changed people's lives (now he gets e-mails).

Ironically, he says, "I did the show not as a gay activist, that's not what I am. I did the show because I thought it was a great piece of entertainment and entertainment is my middle name."

(SOURCE: susan.king@latimes.com)



Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times


WINNER FOR TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!

RESERVE WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S SHOW! (PLEASE NOTE: BARRY LEVITT WILL NOT BE IN THE SHOW DUE TO A PRIOR COMMITMENT!) You never know who you’ll see at the Iguana! Gregory Nalbone, Felicia Mae, & Erik Cheskie were among the great entertainers in last night’s show!
http://www.richardskipper.com/iguana/index.html

THE RAVES ARE IN! THE FOLLOWING ARE RECENT COMMENTS FROM
http://www.richardskipper.com/guestbook.html


I have been lucky enough to participate in three wonderful Wednesday Night at the Iguana events and the experience gets better and better every time.
Dana and Richard as the warm and funny hosts,incredible talent, beautiful venue and supportive and sophisticated audiences at each show. Even if you do not usually go to Cabaret this should be at the top of your list of MUST DOs in NYC!
THE MAC AWARDS WELL DESERVED MY FRIENDS.
Barbara Gurskey, Metuchen, NJ

It was a joy to be at The Iguana last night and see the wonderful cabaret revue hosted by Dana Lorge and Richard Skipper.
I have been watching cabaret shows for over fifty years, and last night's was one of the best I've ever seen in my entire life. Living now in Fort Lauderdale for the past 8 years, I'm rather cut off from the new York cabaret scene I've always loved. So, last night was an extraordinary opportunity to catch up with more than 25 wonderful acts -- which I have been reading about on the Internet but now finally had the opportunity to see. The acts were great -- not a clunker in the carload. Dana and Richard kept the evening flowing smoothly and seamlessly -- moving swiftly from one terrific act to another. I plan to be back at The Iguana on May 26th and get up on that stage and do a new original song of my one.
Chuck Prentiss

I look forward to Wednesday night at the Iguana where I know I will be entertained in style and comfort. Richard and Dana are not only exceptional talents, but are also exceedlingly humorous and warm and gracious hosts.
I enjoy spreading the word to my friends who are now part of our expanding group on Wednesday nights.
Rita Golub



Feinstein's Presents Nellie McKay's Tribute To Doris Day, Normal As Blueberry Pie 6/1-12
(SOURCE: BROADWAY WORLD)
FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY, the nightclub proclaimed "Best of New York" by New York Magazine and "an invaluable New York institution" by The New York Post, continues its star-studded Spring 2010 season with the debut of critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and actress Nellie McKay from June 1 - 12.
For her show at Feinstein's Ms. McKay will celebrate the release of her latest CD, Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day. All shows will take place at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue at 61st Street).

Normal As Blueberry Pie - which "ranks among the killer overhauls of American standards, with sharply original arrangements," according to The New York Times - features 12 songs handpicked from over 600 recordings of Ms. Day's, as well as an original by McKay. The album bridges the big band era of the ‘40s from "Sentimental Journey" to "Dig It" with Day's later film career from "The Very Thought of You" from Young Man With a Horn to "Send Me No Flowers" from the film of the same name.


"We were trying to connect with the many time periods in Doris' life," McKay explains, "from the big bands to the post-McCarthy era." Exasperating, exhilarating, and altogether uncategorizable, her latest album showcases Nellie's fresh take on music and life with a curtsy to Doris, a nod to convention, and a unique twist all her own. Nellie reviewed a recent biography of Day for The New York Times, and is one of the few people in 30 years to be granted an interview with Ms. Day (The Bark Magazine, 2007). "What she possessed - beyond her beauty, physical grace and natural acting ability - was a resplendent voice that conveyed enormous warmth and feeling," writes Nellie (The New York Times, 2007).

Nellie McKay has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and on numerous national television and radio shows, opened for Bo Diddley and Sting, dueted with Eartha Kitt, Trey Anastasio and Taj Mahal, interviewed Doris Day, and shared the stage with Odetta, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and other notables in aid of various progressive causes. Since her audacious double-album debut Get Away From Me, Nellie McKay has been a creative dynamo, releasing three self-produced albums including Pretty Little Head and Obligatory Villagers.


She won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of "Polly Peachum" in the Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera and was featured in the Richard LaGravenese film PS I Love You where she sings and plays the role of "Ciara," Hilary Swank's younger sister. She also performs standards and original music for the Rob Reiner movie Rumor Has It. Up next, she is slated to star in the David Grubin film Russian Blue opposite violin prodigy Phillipe Quint and is currently creating the Broadway musical version of the book and movie Election.


FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY will present Nellie McKay with the following schedule: Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 PM and Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM and 10:30 PM. The 8:00 PM and 8:30 PM shows have a $60.00 cover with $75.00 premium seats and the 10:30 PM shows have a $40.00 cover with $60.00 premium seats both with a $40.00 food and beverage minimum. For all shows, there are a select amount of seats based on availability with a $40 cover charge and no food/beverage minimum. Jackets are suggested but not required. FEINSTEIN'S AT LOEWS REGENCY is located at 540 Park Avenue at 61st Street in New York City. For ticket reservations and club information, please call (212) 339-4095 or visit us online at feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com.



(Host Karen Cadle and Legend Rich Little)
Little's Impressions … in Charcoal?

In the now popular tradition of the Legend Series at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, friends, colleagues and fans such as Richard Chamberlain, Tippi Hedren, Jon Voight and more gathered on Sunday, May 23rd for a evening with Rich Little and his Art. Little is best known as the master mimic of over 200 voices, however in addition to his spot on impersonations of legends such as Jack Benny, George Burns, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart and five presidents (Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Sr, and Clinton), the two-day engagement in the Palace of Mystery Theatre at the Magic Castle also featured Mr. Little's artwork both onstage and in The Castle's Inner Circle.
Sunday's night's engagement featured a tribute to the Legendary Ladies by British Sensation, Toni Morrell, prior to Rich Little's tribute in his art to the Legendary Men and their voices.

During the unique performance Q&A, hosted by Karen Cadle, Little offered a glimpse at a lesser-known side of the talented comedian.
Amazing life-like depictions of the famous he has so masterfully impersonated over the years, done in charcoal on paper. Part of the evening included a special on-stage presentation of artwork done by Mr. Little to be presented to friends, Jon Voight and Richard Chamberlain, making a promise for the stage to the glamorous Ms. Tippi Hedren in the audience that she was next.
Little's big break in the U.S. was in his early 20's when he appeared on CBS's The Judy Garland Show. Appearances on numerous TV variety shows such as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Glen Campbell, Dean Martin, Laugh-In and The Julie Andrews Show followed.

Rich had his own variety show in the 70's. He also performed as guest host twelve times for Johnny Carson, and was named "Comedy Star of the Year" by the American Guild of Variety Artists.

Little has recorded nine comedy albums and starred in three HBO comedy specials, winning an Emmy, among other awards.
He starred as Johnny Carson in the HBO movie The Late Shift. Daytime television appearances include The Young and the Restless, Fantasy Island, CHIPS, Murder She Wrote, Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver and Police Woman. Little's expert impressions have also been used seriously, as when he stepped in for such stars as David Niven, Peter Sellers and Gene Kelly who were unable to do their own re-dubbings on motion picture soundtracks.
Over the years Rich Little has been active with children's charities and he was co-host of the Canadian division of the Children's Miracle Network. He was inducted into the Miami Children's Hospital International Pediatrics Hall of Fame for his tireless efforts in fundraising on behalf of children. In June of 1998 Rich Little added his star to the Canadian Walk of Fame to go along with his current star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Rich Little Artwork available at www.CelebrityConsignments.com.

Photo Credit: BRIAN PUTNAM


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a LIVE show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out June 5th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled June! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:


Sandee and I love Richard and Dana, We always have a good time at Iguana. The food is good and reasonable. Richard and Dana are the best host and Hostess in town. The talent is top notch, the jokes can make you laugh, and one can get home at a decent hour...
Michael Janin, Long Beach New York


It was so great to work with Richard Skipper at the LGBT comedy vent in Nyack. He is a fabulous, hilarious and a classic entertainer.
Kelli Dunham, http://www.kellidunham.com


Hi Richard,
I had the pleasure of attending WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA this past Wednesday evening. I have to commend Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge for presenting a thoroughly delight-full evening with a talented array of performers.It was great hearing and seeing Richard & Dana performing live. As General MacArthur said, "I SHALL RETURN."
Len Schlosberg, Leonard Talent Associates Inc.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!! 212-765-5454.








June 2nd: D'Yan Forest Helena Grenot, Cindy Marchionda, and Pam Palmieri


June 16th: 2010 Meg Flather,Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns and Lorinda Lisitza joins us for the first time!


JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Sigali Hamberger, Dora Ruben, Pam Tate,and Catt John




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, Evan Lawrence, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS


TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL JUNE!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION, TUDOR CITY GREENS CONCERT JUNE 1st, RIP TAYLOR...AND MORE!



CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION
Contact: Ron Lasko @ 212-505-1700 x. 11, ron@spincyclenyc.com

Drama Desk Award Winning Comedy Offers Special Engagement
CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION
One Night Only! June 26 at The Gramercy Theater

“Brilliant… delicious” -- Entertainment Weekly
“The funniest docu-theater stunt of the year” -- Time Magazine

In addition to its previously announced performances at The Triad, the
hit comedy CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY will present a special one-night
engagement to coincide with New York’s annual Gay Pride celebration.

CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION will be presented Saturday,
June 26 at Off-Broadway’s Gramercy Theater. The historic theater has
been transformed into a giant cabaret space -- complete with tables
and waiter service -- just for the occasion.


CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY, which originated in Los Angeles to great
acclaim and was later adapted for a Bravo-TV special, features actors
reading selections from the autobiographies of the famous and
infamous. The production won a 2009 Drama Desk Award for Unique
Theatrical Experience.

Among the actors currently scheduled to perform in CELEBRITY
AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION are Rachel Dratch, Cheyenne Jackson,
Kristen Johnston, John Cameron Mitchell, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel,
Bruce Vilanch, and B.D. Wong. (Lineup subject to change.)
Eugene Pack, who created the series, says, "I would listen to a lot of
books-on-tape, particularly autobiographies, and was astounded at what
people would write about.
When I would get a hold of one of these
books and read it out loud to friends, they'd insist I was making it
up. But people actually wrote these words! So I decided to put the
material up in front of an audience, knowing that it would be
extremely entertaining."

The words of gay icons including Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears,
Madonna, Ivana Trump, Vanna White, Star Jones,'N Sync, Zsa Zsa Gabor,
Loni Anderson, Diana Ross, Kathie Lee Gifford, Miley Cyrus and Debbie
Reynolds have all been performed in previous CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY
evenings.

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY
“big-yuks entertainment” and a “merry compendium of the witlessness
and wisdom of the rich and famous.” Joe Dziemianowicz of the Daily
News called it a “potent comic cocktail…you weep with laughter.” The
New Yorker called it “inspired.”

And Sam Thielman of Variety wrote,
“Audience members hyperventilate. It should lead a long and happy
life.” The show has been featured by numerous media outlets,
including ABC’s “The View” and “Nightline,” NPR’s “Morning Edition,”
CNN’S “American Morning,” New York 1, WNBC’S “News for New York”, CBS
Sunday Morning News and Bravo’s “A-List Awards.”
It has been running
for nearly three years in New York as well as sold out engagements in
San Francisco and Chicago.

For more information visit
www.celebrityautobiography.com.

CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY: GAY PRIDE EDITION runs Saturday, June 26 at
7:30pm. Tickets are $40-$25. A VIP package including a post-show
reception with the performers is available for $125.
A full service
bar is available throughout the show. The Gramercy Theater is located
at 127 East 23rd Street at Lexington Avenue (accessible from the
F,V,N,R & #6 trains at 23rd Street).

Kristy Cates (pictured), Zachary James, Jana Robbins, Richard Skipper et al. Set for June 1 Stars and Songs of Broadway Concert
(SOURCE:Andy Propst)



Kristy Cates, Hector Coris, Shana Farr, Zachary James, Valerie Lemon, Jana Robbins, Karen Oberlin, and Richard Skipper are scheduled to perform in Stars and Songs of Broadway , a free outdoor concert at Tudor City Greens on June 1 at 6pm (rain date: June 2). Raissa Katona Bennett will host the event, which is the first in a series which will continue each month through October.

Accompanists for the June concert will be David Caldwell, Jeff Cubeta, Kenneth Gartman, and Bill Zeffiro with Cindy Gooden on bass. Other concerts in the series will include A Child's Garden of Verses: Songs By, About, For and With Children (July 6), A Night at the Opera: Vocal and Instrumental Classics (August 3), Love Grows Here: Contemporary Pop, Rock & Theatre (September 7) and Jazz! (October 5).
The events will take place in the South Park of Tudor City Greens Park - enter at Tudor City Place between East 41st and 42nd Streets, between 1st and 2nd avenues.
Just wanted to let some of you know that we are taking our Cabaret hats off to perform some of my originals for the first time at this really cool venue downtown. It should be an informal, fun and inexpensive way to cool off and enjoy a NYC hot, summer night.
Hope to see you then. Check this place out on line. Too fun!



Ripping Great Time Had By All!!!

It was an impressive crowd that gathered for the opening night of Rip Taylor's “It Ain't All Confetti” at the El Portal Theatre on Friday May 21st, including Kathy Griffin, Julie Newmar, Rich Little, Kate Linder, Romi Dames, Bruce Vilanch, JoAnne Worley, Susan Olsen, Tania Gunadi, Gary Collins, Mary Ann Mobley, Margaret O'Brien, Earl Holliman, Ruta Lee, Dick Van Patten, Nancy Dussault, Judy Tenuta, Dee Wallace, Anne Jeffreys, Alex Trebeck and many more.

The Comedy Legend of Stage and Screen, Rip Taylor, received standing ovations for his performance that not only included his trademark humor and, of course, a dash of confetti, but also offered a deeper and intimate look into what brought this great entertainer to the forefront of the American public. Few can boast over 2,000 TV appearances; Broadway credits; having worked with everyone from Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Jackie Gleason, and Eleanor Powell as well as being a three time “Entertainer of the Year” winner in Las Vegas.

Rip is without a doubt one of television's most recognizable personalities and in “It Ain't All Confetti,” directed by David Galligan; he puts a humorous and revealing spotlight on a career that has spanned five remarkable decades.

El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernando Valley located in the heart of North Hollywood just minutes from Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Disney, ABC, CBS-Radford, NBC Burbank and sits across from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Art Institute. Since it's opening in 1926 -- first for Vaudeville, then Silent Movies, and then Academy Award-winning films.

Chosen by the Smithsonian Institute as the venue for induction ceremonies to announce their first permanent Entertainment History Exhibit, in the past ten years celebrities have starred in productions and musical reviews including Debbie Reynolds, Bea Arthur, Kitty Carlisle Hart, JoAnne Worley, Vicki Lewis, Carol Channing, The Manhattan Transfer, to name only a few and now the El Portal is thrilled to offer Rip Taylor.

The El Portal Theatre management was proud to announce that "It Ain't All Confetti" has been extended through June 6th. All Seats $35, Call 818-508-4200. For more information call 818-508-0281.

Photo Credits Bill Dow and Leigh Ann Rahn




Mitzi Gaynor Razzle-Dazzles New York


Mitzi Gaynor, 1950's movie star (Les Girls, South Pacific), Las Vegas headliner, and TV superstar (thanks to a series of funny, sexy and eye-popping television specials that ran from 1967 to 1978) is still with us and kicking up her heels.

On Saturday night, my partner and I went to see Miss Gaynor at Feinstein’s at Lowes Regency in New York City.
Her show is called "Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins", and it’s something every fan of Hollywood glitz and glamour should see. Her stories and songs are direct from the heart, and the audience fell in love with her the moment she came onstage. Mitzi shares personal stories, moving reminiscences (including a tribute to her late husband, of 52 years, producer Jack Bean), and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from her life and remarkable show business career. Get ready for hilarious recollections of famous friends and costars including Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Howard Hughes, and Irving Berlin. Add to this, glittering new costumes by Bob Mackie as well as dazzling television and film footage and rare personal photos which provide a great opportunity to experience the magic and incredible spirit of a true entertainment icon.

It is an evening of old-time haute cabaret that's not to be missed.



But hurry, her show there ends on Saturday, May 29th.

For more Mitzi magic, visit her official website.

To see some videos of the show and some other clips, visit her official Youtube page.



Liza Minnelli records ‘Single Ladies’ for the movie ‘Sex and the City 2′
(SOURCE: Aishwarya Bhatt)

Liza Minnelli has re-recorded ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’. She re-recorded the Beyonce’s song so that it could be a theme song for the upcoming ‘Sex and the City 2’ movie. Liza has already released her version of the song on the Internet and it is creating a buzz there.

The 64-year-old Liza also has a small role in the movie, and she would sing her version of the ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ during the occasion of a wedding in the movie. According to WENN, she said that, “It’s a wonderful number. We had a blast. It’s rock and roll. Everything is moving! And I just got a whole new knee, so I can promise you everything is moving.”

According to a trailer for the movie, there is complete chaos in all the four girl’s lives in the upcoming movie. On one hand Samantha is trying very hard to hang on to her youth, whereas Kristin Davis’s Charlotte York doesn’t have a clue about what to do about her children. And on the other hand Cynthia Nixon’s Miranda Hobbes wants the opposite, as she wants to quit her work, and be a stay-at-home mother.


Meg Flather, Singer/Songwriter/Home Shopping Diva
and John Mettam @ The 169 Bar!
June 15, 9 PM, $12 cover.
169 East Broadway between Pike Street and Rutgers.
(Take F train to East Broadway or B/D trains to Grand Street.
Call 646-833-7199 for more information.)




(Original Cast Album pictured)
THE NEW BROADWAY CAST RECORDING OF PROMISES, PROMISES

RECORDING AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE ON TUESDAY, JUNE 22

MUSIC BY BURT BACHARACH AND LYRICS BY HAL DAVID

THE FIRST EVER REVIVAL OF PROMISES, PROMISES

Bacharach's brilliant score is the epitome of the pop-Broadway hybrid, and this revival adds two of his best songs (“Say A Little Prayer” and “A House is Not a Home”) to nuggets such as "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." - Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
MASTERWORKS BROADWAY proudly announces the upcoming release of the New Broadway Cast Recording of PROMISES, PROMISES. The recording is available nationwide physically and digitally on June 22, 2010 and is produced by Grammy Award winners David Caddick and David Lai.
Directed and choreographed by Tony and Emmy Award winner Rob Ashford, this new production of PROMISES, PROMISES, with Neil Simon’s funny and touching book and Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s hit-packed score, opened at the Broadway Theatre on Sunday, April 25, 2010.

Sean Hayes, Kristin Chenoweth, Tony Goldwyn , Katie Finneran and Tony Award winner Dick Latessa lead a cast of 27 including Brooks Ashmanskas as Mr. Dobitch, Peter Benson as Mr. Kirkeby, Seán Martin Hingston as Mr. Eichelberger and Ken Land as Jesse Vanderhof.

“The time is right for a revival of PROMISES, PROMISES and to add its cast recording to the rich catalogue of MASTERWORKS BROADWAY,” said Alex Miller, General Manager and Senior Vice President of SONY MASTERWORKS.
“Burt Bacharach and Hal David's music immediately evokes the 1960s era and is brought to contemporary life through the extraordinary talents of Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes and the cast.”

Based on the 1960 Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder film The Apartment that starred Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, PROMISES, PROMISES tells the story of the Consolidated Life Insurance Company and Chuck Baxter, one of its charming young employees. In an effort to advance his career, Chuck lends executives his apartment for their extramarital romantic trysts. But things become slightly complicated when Chuck discovers Fran Kubelik, the object of his affection, is involved with one of the executives.

PROMISES, PROMISES earned 4 Tony Award nominations including: Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Sean Hayes), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Katie Finneran), Best Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick), and Best Choreography (Rob Ashford).

PROMISES, PROMISES features orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, with music direction by Phil Reno and dance music arrangements by David Chase.

PROMISES, PROMISES is produced by Broadway Across America (John Gore, Thomas B. McGrath, Beth Williams), Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, The Weinstein Company/Terry Allen Kramer, Candy Spelling, Pat Addiss, Bernie Abrams/Michael Speyer, Takonkiet Viravan/Scenario Thailand and Norton Herrick/Barry & Fran Weissler/TBS Service/Laurel Oztemel in association with Michael McCabe/Joseph Smith and Stage Ventures 2009 No. 2 Limited Partnership. Beth Williams is the executive producer.

Masterworks Broadway is a label of Sony Masterworks. For email updates and information on Masterworks Broadway please visit www.masterworksbroadway.com.



WINNER FOR TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!




RESERVE FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT’S SHOW! You never know who you’ll see at the Iguana! Gregory Nalbone, Felicia Mae, & Erik Cheskie were among the great entertainers in last night’s show!

http://www.richardskipper.com/iguana/index.html

THE RAVES ARE IN! THE FOLLOWING ARE RECENT COMMENTS FROM

http://www.richardskipper.com/guestbook.html





Sandee and I love Richard and Dana, We always have a good time at Iguana. The food is good and reasonable. Richard and Dana are the best host and Hostess in town. The talent is top notch, the jokes can make you laugh, and one can get home at a decent hour... Michael Janin, Long Beach New York



Well Richard...a thrill to be part of your Wednesday night Iguana show. Loved your song medley. You and Dana are consummate "PROS" all the way. Great rapport. Looking forward to being a part of the Iguana action with you
and Dana again....Love, Vickie Phillips, http://www.BestFriendsProductions.com/vickiephillips.htm

I have been lucky enough to participate in three wonderful Wednesday Night at the Iguana events and the experience gets better and better every time. Dana and Richard as the warm and funny hosts,incredible talent, beautiful venue and supportive and sophisticated audiences at each show. Even if you do not usually go to Cabaret this should be at the top of your list of MUST DOs in NYC!
THE MAC AWARDS WELL DESERVED MY FRIENDS. Barbara Gurskey





COME WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THEN ADD YOUR OWN COMMENTS!





May 26
8pm

IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA

Bill Zeffero on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass.
A Julie Reyburn & Susan Winter Birthday tribute. Entertainers include: Charisma (featuring Esther Beckman, Nina Grand, Scott LaChance, Mike Mulligan, Paul Auriemma, Joe Clenents, and MD Mike Leshowitz), Daryl Glenn, Susan Winter ...
...and a few other surprises as well! $12.00 Music Charge/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454



Show starts at 8PM; be there between 7:00-8PM to ensure table. Reservations are a MUST!





(Nancy E. Carroll (left) and Alice Duffy, who have both played Mrs. Shubert in Boston’s “Shear Madness,’’ are on Broadway in “Present Laughter.’’ (Jennifer Taylor) )There’s no time like the present
‘Shear Madness’ veterans make their Broadway debuts

Nancy E. Carroll (left) and Alice Duffy, who have both played Mrs. Shubert in Boston’s “Shear Madness,’’ are on Broadway in “Present Laughter.’’ Nancy E. Carroll (left) and Alice Duffy, who have both played Mrs. Shubert in Boston’s “Shear Madness,’’ are on Broadway in “Present Laughter.’’ (Jennifer Taylor)
(SOURCE: Christopher Wallenberg,Globe Correspondent)





For three decades, “Shear Madness’’ has provided a potent proving ground - not to mention a steady paycheck - for some of Boston’s best comic actors, from Paula Plum and Kathy St. George to Will LeBow and John Kuntz. But the longest-running non-musical play in American history, celebrating its 30th anniversary today at the Charles Playhouse, has only rarely been a launching pad for Broadway.


This month, beloved Boston actresses Nancy E. Carroll and Alice Duffy, who have both played Mrs. Shubert in the interactive whodunit, made their Broadway debuts in Noel Coward’s fizzy “Present Laughter.’’ Former Huntington Theatre Company artistic director Nicholas Martin first staged the production in 2007 in Boston to rave reviews, with Victor Garber playing the self-absorbed, aging actor Garry Essendine.

Chatting with these two award-winning actresses in their shared dressing room at the American Airlines Theatre, it’s clear neither saw this moment coming. Duffy, 81, was even profiled on the “Today’’ show this week.

As the posh Lady Saltburn, Duffy gets one of the biggest laughs in “Present Laughter’’ with a death-grip handshake, while Carroll, 57, is just as funny playing the chain-smoking, séance-obsessed Swedish housekeeper, Miss Erikson.

Surrounded by giant flower bouquets, with a slew of cards from well-wishers pasted to their dressing-room mirrors, they spoke recently about their ascent to the Great White Way and their wild times in “Shear Madness.’’

Q. When “Present Laughter’’ opened here, were there any first-night jitters?

Carroll: It was wonderful and fun and amazing. But there’s so much energy backstage on opening night that you feel tense, and you don’t really realize how tense you are until it’s over.
Duffy: We weren’t stressed about the play, per se. But it’s all the hype around a Broadway show.

Carroll: You walk in, and you see all these flowers and cards and messages from people.
You feel a great responsibility.

Q. What’s it been like making your Broadway debuts at this stage in your careers?

Carroll: It’s surreal.

I’d worked off-Broadway in New York before. But I certainly never saw this destination coming.
So it’s such a surprise and a gift.
Duffy: I never even aspired to Broadway. It just never entered my thinking.

Carroll: Then she started thinking about the other actresses of her generation that are also onstage right now.

Duffy: I don’t compare myself to these ladies. But Angela Lansbury is in “A Little Night Music,’’ Estelle Parsons is [touring] in “August: Osage County,’’ and Elaine Stritch is doing a Sondheim cabaret. So it’s evidently the year of the octogenarians in theater.


Q. You’ve acted together in Boston shows before, from “Kindertransport’’ to “The Women’’ to “Dead End.’’ Has it been good having a friend to lean on for support and advice?
Duffy: Well, I sort of think of Nancy as an adopted daughter. I can’t imagine anybody that I would rather go through this experience with than her. And we think so much alike about so many things.
Both of us are list-makers and worriers and planners. So we restrain each other. We’re a good influence on each other - reining in our worst habits (laughs).

PRESENT LAUGHTER

At: American Airlines Theatre,

New York, through March 21
Tickets: $66.50-$116.50. 212-719-1300,

www.roundabouttheatre.org

SHEAR MADNESS

At: Charles Playhouse.

Tickets: $42. 617-426-5225,

www.shearmadness.com

Q. When did you first join “Shear Madness,’’ and how many performances have each of you done?

Duffy: I went into “Shear Madness’’ around 1990. As for number of performances, my last count was over 1,000. That was around the time I decided, I think maybe I’ve done this enough. I have plumbed the depths of this character.

Carroll: I must have gone in about 1995. When I first went in, it was Pat Shea, Michael Fennimore, Richard Snee, and Kathy St. George. It was truly one of the funniest dressing rooms you could ever be in. There was as much laughter off stage as there was onstage. And you’re all sharing one tiny little space backstage!

Duffy: Oh, and that dressing room is a gem - decor by Attila the Hun. I guess it had a seedy charm to it, though.

Q. What are your memories from the first time doing it?

Carroll: I was nervous, of course. And Michael [Fennimore] said, “Don’t be nervous. Just do the show as written, and don’t try anything new, because the show’s been running so long, it’s a well-oiled machine.’’ So we’re onstage, and at one point I took, like, a nanosecond pause before I said some line. I looked stage left at the rest of the cast, and every single one of them were staring at their wristwatches and then looking at me, like “pick up the pace,’’ because I had taken too long of a pause before saying the line.

Duffy: I was absolutely terrified. . . . It’s like jumping onto a moving train. It goes like wind. And it has to! God forbid the audience ever stopped to think about the logic or reason behind the script (laughs). If there had been a back door, which mercifully there wasn’t, I think I would have run home as fast as I could. Nothing has ever scared me that much again. Whenever I’ve been nervous to go onstage, I always think, if you got through ‘‘Shear Madness,’’ you can get through anything.

Q. Nancy, you’re best known for deeply moving work in dramas ranging from “The Year of Magical Thinking’’ to “Happy Days’’ and “Bailegangaire.’’ Is playing a light comic supporting character a welcome change of pace?

Carroll: Yeah, my brother always says to me, “I love all the plays you do, and you’re so wonderful in them. But can you please do something funny for once, not just all these wrist-slitters?’’ So it is refreshing to do something a little less taxing and not so dark.
© Copyright 2010 Globe Newspaper Company.




See Kate Live!
Posted on January 19, 2010 by admin

Start your new decade dance with Kate Clinton – comic without borders, wake-up artist, and the original reality gatecrasher. See Kate perform her world-famous burlesque Bubble Wrap Dance as she gleefully pops the air out of deniers and disruptors, birthers and dearthers, conservadems and bibliocrats, the -stans and the bans, spine flu and whine flu, ex-gays and A-gays, the audacity of nope and of course, the pope. All material fully digitalized and gorgeously styled by the Haus of Ha.

5/29& 30 (Memorial Day Weekend) – Provincetown, MA


Crown and Anchor – More info
Please note that the show on the 29th is a GIRLPOWER event for Memorial Day weekend. All are welcome.

6/19 – Houston, TX
Jones Hall – Buy tickets

6/21 – Provincetown, MA
SHOWGIRLS – Crown and Anchor – More info

6/23- Provincetown, MA

Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out May 31st.
Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper
HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:


Sandee and I love Richard and Dana, We always have a good time at Iguana. The food is good and reasonable. Richard and Dana are the best host and Hostess in town. The talent is top notch, the jokes can make you laugh, and one can get home at a decent hour...
Michael Janin, Long Beach New York


I look forward to Wednesday night at the Iguana where I know I will be entertained in style and comfort. Richard and Dana are not only exceptional talents, but are also exceedlingly humorous and warm and gracious hosts.
I enjoy spreading the word to my friends who are now part of our expanding group on Wednesday nights.
Rita Golub, NYC


Hi Richard,
I had the pleasure of attending WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA this past Wednesday evening. I have to commend Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge for presenting a thoroughly delight-full evening with a talented array of performers.It was great hearing and seeing Richard & Dana performing live. As General MacArthur said, "I SHALL RETURN."
Len Schlosberg, Leonard Talent Associates Inc.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
212-765-5454.









June 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall, Cindy Marchionda, and Pam Palmieri



June 16th: 2010 Meg Flather,Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns and Lorinda Lisitza joins us for the first time!


JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Sigali Hamberger, Pam Tate,and Catt John




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN and JANICE HALL RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS


TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL WEEK!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

MITZI GAYNOR, HOME/AWAY, NEXT "BETTY WHITE" FOR SNL,...AND MORE!


Cabaret Review: "Mitzi Gaynor" by Jonathan Warman

Mitzi walks onto the stage of the Regency Hotel Ballroom dressed in a sailor suit identical to the one she wore in the movie version of South Pacific, the film that solidified her reputation as a Hollywood song and dance gal. She launches into “Honey Bun” from that film, which includes the lyric “broad where a broad should be broad.”
Gaynor’s club act, Razzle Dazzle! My Life behind the Sequins, is all about a show biz broad playing it broad. It’s very much like that Saturday Night Live homage to Ann Miller and Debbie Reynolds, “Leg Up!” Only it’s for real, Mitzi isn’t doing much dancing (the “leg up!” is all in the attitude), and the costumes are really truly by Bob Mackie! In a move unheard of in cabaret, Gaynor does no less than five costume changes, covered by energetically edited video footage culled from her television, concert and film work.

And it’s such a good time! The heart of the show is Gaynor’s hilarious show biz stories, several of which are almost dirty (she says she’ll tell you the really dirty ones, if you Invite her to your house and make her dinner). She doesn’t do very many songs — they might even be outnumbered by costume changes — but she has chosen them well.

Most memorable for me was her re-lyricized version of “Show Off” from The Drowsy Chaperone. She sings “I don’t wanna be camp no more” while giving her enormous pink boa an ironic, extra-large shimmy. And that’s before the pasties with tassels come out! So camp. Her musical arrangement’s are somewhat undone by Gary Nesteruk’s cheesy synthesizer fills, but I realized that if these kind of kitschy arrangements ever made sense anywhere, it would be in a show like this.

One of the reasons she does so few songs: she isn’t an incredible singer. With her it’s always been about showmanship, the “razzle dazzle” of the show’s title. She has so much charisma and chutzpah; you have to imagine she’d be able to put anything over. It would be hard to top this show for sheer glittery gay fun.

Mitzi Gaynor opened at Feinstein's May 18 (Source Andrew Gans, Playbill.com)



Hollywood legend Mitzi Gaynor made her New York City cabaret debut May 18 at Feinstein's at Loews Regency. The film actress, who has titled her show Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins, will play the Manhattan nightspot through May 29.

Gaynor, according to Feinstein's notes, will bring her "incomparable brand of showmanship to the stage in a glittering multimedia one woman tour-de-force of music and memories from her show-stopping life and career. The evening will feature classic elements of her fabled concert performances interspersed with video footage culled from her television, concert and film work and rare personal photos embraced in an all new, up-to-date setting."
Expect Gaynor's recollections of Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Howard Hughes, Marlene Dietrich and more.

In a statement actress Gaynor said, "Over the years I'd been asked to play New York on numerous occasions but the stars never quite aligned.
That's why I was thrilled when Michael Feinstein asked me to bring my show to his club and said I could have the Regency's Ballroom so I'd have more room to play. I really can't wait to be there.
There's no city in the world like New York."

Tony Charmoli directs the evenings, which feature musical arrangements by Dick DeBenedictis and Bill Dyer. Musical director/pianist Ed Czach leads a seven-piece band; orchestrations are by Ovation Award winner Colin R. Freeman and Helen Hayes Award nominee Nick DeGregorio.

Mitzi Gaynor starred in 17 motion pictures, nine network television specials (garnering 17 Primetime Emmy nominations) and returned to live performing with countless concert productions nationwide for over 40 years.
For ticket reservations call (212) 339-4095 or visit feinsteinsatloewsregency.com and TicketWeb.com.
(Source: Kevin Scott Hall, EDGE PUBLICATIONS)





The daughter of a dancer and a cellist, her mother and aunt took her to Hollywood from Detroit when she was eleven.

Once called "the number one female song and dance star" by the Los Angeles Times, Gaynor is best known for playing Nellie Forbush in Joshua Logan’s 1958 film version of South Pacific, one of the top-grossing movies of that decade, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.
She also starred in There’s No Business Like Show Business with Ethel Merman, The Joker is Wild with Frank Sinatra, Les Girls with Gene Kelly, and Anything Goes with Donald O’Connor.
Gaynor later became a sellout at the Flamingo Club in Las Vegas, toured with her nightclub act and stage shows, and presented eight Emmy-winning variety specials during the ’60s and ’70s.
In the 1990s, she was also a highly regarded chronicler for the Hollywood Reporter.

EDGE spoke with Gaynor, 78, about her upcoming show and her celebrated life... with and without the sequins.




EDGE: I saw you last month at the Bistro Awards. We in the audience couldn’t believe how wonderful you looked.


Mitzi Gaynor: The talent in that room was amazing, wasn’t it? And the audience was so marvelous, I could have eaten them up with a spoon! The New York audience gets it right away.

EDGE: Do you still have the discipline of a dancer when it comes to a health regimen?


MG: I’ve always been a good eater but I’m very careful with what I eat. I don’t eat junk. In addition to being a musician, my father was a great chef. When the other kids were going to school with baloney and Miracle Whip between two slices of
Wonderbread, I had veal cutlets and eggplant in my brown bag.




EDGE: I think we were also surprised and delighted by your bawdy sense of humor. Can we expect more of that from your show?
MG: [Laughing] I’ve always been like that, but I wouldn’t say I’m bawdy; I’m "today." We’d think nothing of standing in the hallway talking to our boyfriends with nothing but a towel draped around us. As for the show, there are so many things to tell, so many songs to sing, and six costume changes.

EDGE: Are you serious?

MG: Of course I’m serious! I once had fourteen costume changes!


EDGE: Many of our readers might be surprised to learn that you were the first star to be dressed by Bob Mackie.
MG: It was around 1966 and I had been working with another designer. I was working on a new show but he couldn’t do it, so he sent his assistant over. I was rehearsing in my 4-inch heels-my mother said I was born in them-and this blond kid sticks his head in the door and introduces himself.
He was so young his voice hadn’t even changed!


EDGE: You are perhaps most famous for South Pacific, but you have worked with the best of the best: Ethel Merman, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Donald O’Connor, Gene Kelly, Cole Porter... the list goes on. How do you put all of that into a one-hour show?

MG: Very fast! I can combine Ethel Merman with a movie and my honeymoon. Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor and I were all Virgos, so we were all a pain in the ass! I do wait for the laughs, but I have to make sure I get them!

EDGE: Was it a conscious choice to leave films at such a young age?
MG: After South Pacific there were really no big musicals to do except Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady and I wasn’t going to get those. Jack [Jack Bean, her husband and manager for 52 years; he died in 2006] and I had a long talk about it and we decided that I would go back to the stage, which is where I started and what I loved. We were offered a chance to do a show in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel. It was an enormous amount of money, plus points in the hotel. I couldn’t turn it down. Jack negotiated; he was my everything. He created whatever Mitzi Gaynor is.

EDGE: The stereotype is that marriages don’t last in Hollywood, and yet you two were married for over fifty years and Jack was also your manager. What was the secret to your success?

MG: We could work together. When I went on the road, he went on the road with me. We were both from the Midwest and Catholic-when we were married, we were married! But I loved being a Mrs., cooking a great meal and taking care of the house. I was a great wife and he was a wonderful husband.

EDGE: When you see all these talent shows on television today, do you think the young people coming up have any idea how much work is involved in a showbiz career?

MG: You have to have a background and you have to have a technique. You can’t sing your guts out with one song and be done. A young person today makes a lot of money and then is left to her own devices. There is no guidance. From the time I started working in the Civic Light Opera at thirteen and then 20th Century Fox at eighteen, I worked for companies.
I was groomed. People don’t have that anymore. Back then, you had to work all day with your back out-that’s why some people got hooked on stuff.
But you developed a stamina and a work ethic. There was no "forget about it, I’ll do it tomorrow."

I was once on stage in Las Vegas when a man in the audience died of a heart attack. I just moved to the other side of the stage and kept performing while the staff carried him out.

You sing and dance and do whatever you can, whenever you can. No stage is too small.

EDGE: You’ve done so much in your career. What gave you the most fulfillment?


MG: To tell you the truth, I didn’t think I was all that good in the movies. I always felt the camera was in my way. TV was different because I talked to you and we could reach so many people in one night.
I feel more comfortable on the stage than anywhere else. It’s like having a party and inviting all your friends over.

EDGE: Here’s some trivia. You were on the same episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show" when the Beatles were introduced to America.
MG: [Laughing] No! They were on the same episode that I was on! I had top billing; Ed had been trying to get me for years. It was October 1963 and I had no idea who they were. By February, they had exploded all over the world. Later, I ended up singing some of their songs.



EDGE: And what about singing "Georgy Girl" on the 1968 Academy Awards?


MG: I was in Puerto Rico when I got the call. I didn’t even know what "Georgy Girl" was but once I decided to do it, I wanted my own choreographer, Ernie Flatt, and my own trio, which was unheard of! Of course, we stopped the show cold!

EDGE: I take it, the word "retirement" is not in your vocabulary.
MG: I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I’m so excited! The last time I played New York, I was with the Civic Light Opera and I was still a brunette! It’s party time!



Mitzi Gaynor appears at Feinstein’s (www.feinsteinsattheregency.com) Tuesday through Saturday, May 18-29, 8:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu. and 8:00 p.m. on Fri./Sat.







Watch this tribute to Mitzi Gaynor and guest stars perform "The Little Things You Do Together" from Company:







The dazzling Mitzi Gaynor, who just won an Emmy for her DVD “Razzle Dazzle!,” will be appearing at Feinstein’s at the Regency (May 18-29; 540 Park Ave. at E. 61st St., feinsteinsattheregency.com), and I never pass up an opportunity to chat with this irrepressible dynamo who happens to be one of the best raconteurs in the business. “How are you, my Honolulu baby?” she asked, and we were off and running.

“Can you believe it?” she said. “The last time I performed in New York I was 14, at the Civic Light Opera. Through the years, every time somebody offered me something here, Jack [Bean, her late husband and manager] would book me on tour with my own show. But this seems to be the right time and place, and I’m over the moon about it. Michael [Feinstein] has been so fabulous. He’s opening up a couple of rooms and building me a stage.
I need my eight Bob Mackie costume changes –– what would a Mitzi Gaynor show be without constant costumes?

“It’s a new show which starts out with me saying, ‘Hello,’ and ends with me saying, ‘Thank you very much,’ and in between there are stories about my life in show biz with my husband, in theater, films, with film clips and reactions to certain things, like Topsy and how I grew. I talk a little about when Jack passed away. I didn’t want to be Mitzi Gaynor anymore. I mourned for two years and then woke up one morning and thought, ‘Jack would not like this at all.’
His whole life was Mitzi, and I have so much more to do. There was a period when I really was not well and went out to his gravesite every day to talk to him, and finally I could feel him say, ‘Yummy, will you leave me alone, already, for God’s sake?"

Even the gardeners were saying, ‘Oh God, here she comes again!”

“Razzle Dazzle!” celebrates Gaynor’s TV specials from the 1960s, which were lavishly produced in a way that makes today’s “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” look like cheesy cruise ship entertainment by comparison.
But, you know, my favorite thing is the costumes, like when they do a Viennese waltz and all the girls have are three beads –– one on each nipple and one on their pussy!”
And that’s why we love Mitzi, who in real life is so much juicily more than her onscreen girl next door image, and, as she says, “And then terrible things come out of my mouth! But you’re right. I was always the good girl, never a bad girl, and in my true life, I was never a bad girl. Boring, I think, is the word.”
All one has to do is mention a famous name and let Mitzi rip.

Darryl Zanuck, her boss at Fox studio: “He was a charming man, very sweet and nice to me.
He asked me to come to him one day. I wanted to look gorgeous and sexy and fabulous, but I had just taken a ballet class and looked like hell.
All he said was, ‘You’re much better on film than you are in person. Okay, kid!’ He never chased me around the office –– I was only 17.”
Johnnie Ray, her co-star in “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: “Darling Johnnie. Whenever there was an argument on the set, he’d just pull both hearing aids out of his ears and go and read a newspaper until it was over. And, of course, there’s that line when Johnnie says, ‘Mom, Dad, you know I’m not like the rest of you. I’m a little different,’ and the audience would scream. Yes, Mary, we know! My God, it was just too cute.
He used to come up to me and say, ‘What do I do now, honey?’ And I’d say, ‘Watch me!’”
Dan Dailey, who played Ray’s father and loved to cross-dress: “I really wasn’t into all that.
I was madly in love with Jack Bean then, and not into all that gossip. But I understand that he’d say, ‘Yes, I’d like an Oscar de la Renta, 42 long, please.’ ”
Prickly pear director Stanley Donen, who worked with her on “Surprise Package”: “I got along very well with him. Now that I know him better, I think he’s a delightful guy.
He and [my co-star] Yul ‘The King’ Brynner got along extremely well because the egos were like epées –– you know, thrust and parry: ‘I have more Vuitton than you have Vuitton.’ ‘My Vuitton is solid.’ ‘Mine isn’t. Mine’s soft!’
You know, all these kinds of silly things –– on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, for crying out loud.
A donkey’s going to look at your luggage?”
“Yul was the king and really a dear, but anything that happened with him had to be bigger and better and more important than anybody else. The person I got on extremely well with was Noel Coward. I would go sit in his dressing room and we’d drink tea and smoke cigarettes and tell each other lies. Absolutely fabulous. He’d say, ‘You know, darling, I only pee Arpége.’”
George Cukor, her “Les Girls” director: “He was in a little bit over his head with
Gene Kelly because Gene wouldn’t put up with his crap. George would say things like, ‘You know, darling, Vivien Leigh and Larry [Olivier] and I were having a meal,’ and Gene would roll his eyes and say, ‘Yah, yah, well I gotta take a crap.’ And that would knock poor George off his throne. I’d say, ‘Gene, you just can’t say things like that!’ ‘Well, I don’t wanna hear about Vivien Leigh. Let’s go rehearse.’ And, yes, George would act things out for you. He’d say, ‘Now, darling, I want you to...’ And he would [hem and haw] with his teeth going and that big jaw and the lower teeth out like that. Of course he loved Kay Kendall and who wouldn’t love Kay Kendall? He loved her because she was going out with Rex Harrison at the time.”
Cukor was then bucking for the job of directing ‘My Fair Lady’ on screen.
SOURCE: DAVID NOH, GAY CITY NEWS)


Theatre Askew invites you to come to a place where every home has its story
Home/AWAY



Theatre Askew will present the World Premiere of Home/AWAY, written by Winter Miller in collaboration with the 2009-2010 Theatre Askew Youth Performance Experience (TAYPE) ensemble. Directed by Theatre Askew co-artistic directors Tim Cusack and Jason Jacobs. Shows run May 27-30, Thurs-Sat at 6 pm and 8:30 pm, Sunday at 5 pm at the Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 W 26 St, btwn 9th and 10th Avenues. Tickets are FREE!

When you think of home, what feelings, associations, and memories arise for you? TAYPE invited eight exceptionally talented young people from across the rainbow spectrum of LGBT and straight experience to spend several months together exploring this question. Through a process of theatrical improvisations and writing assignments, the ensemble embarked on a sometimes painful, often funny, and ultimately empowering journey of reflection. Home is watching Titanic with your mom five times in a row. Home is rapping it freestyle with your boiz. Home is a favorite dogwood tree in the backyard. Home is the fragments of memory and shards of relationships we carry with us wherever we go. And Home can also be found when we create theatre together. Home/AWAY is a theatrical response to all these experiences of home.

To make a reservation, please go to the Theatre Askew website:

http://www.theatreaskew.com/home-away

--
Tim Cusack
Co-artistic director, Theatre Askew
646-338-3057
www.theatreaskew.com



SNL Facebookers want a Betty White-style encore

The cult of Facebook isn’t finished trying to infiltrate our TV programming. More fan-page movements for iconic entertainment personalities to host SNL are making their way onto the site. The latest plea is for an SNL coup d’état by comedienne Carol Burnett; the 77-year-old actress was star of her own popular sketch comedy show in the 60s and 70s.



Other fan pages for potential hosts include Broadway superstar Carol Channing and actress/singer Liza Minnelli.
Even Betty White, the former “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Golden Girls” star who hosted a highly-rated SNL last week, has gotten an encore on Facebook because fans now want her to host next year’s Academy Awards broadcast.

White told CBS’ Early Show this week she was dumbfounded by the prospect. “Give me a break,” she told the program.


JUDY TENUTA “FULL FRONTAL TENUDITY”

WHEN: SATURDAY JUNE 19TH, 2010
8pm & 10pm
$20.00 and $25.00 VIP seating - Dinner also available

WHERE: JON LOVITZ COMEDY CLUB UNIVERSAL CITY
1000 Universal Plaza, Universal City CA 818.824.6545
JONLOVITZCOMEDYCLUB.COM

WHAT/WHO: JUDY TENUTA is th emost famous person who ever lived...and if you dont believe it, just ask her. Judy is a triple threat in the sense that she has strong stage, television, comedy and film credits with a large fan base. She has appeared in "THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES", "MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL" both in LA and Chicago, and she's had her own stand-up specials on showtime, HBO and Lifetime. Judy was the first female stand-up comic to win "BEST FEMALE COMEDIAN" at the American Comedy Awards and is a two-time Grammy nominee for her comedy CD's, "ATTENTION BUTT-PIRATES AND LESBETARIANS!" AND "IN GODDESS WE TRUST." That same year, she became the National Spokesperson for a series of Diet Dr. Pepper commercials. The self-described "LOVE GODDESS" and "APHRODITE OF THE ACCORDION" has made hundred of guest and co-hosting appearances on such popular TV shows as "TheView," "Late Night with David Letterman," "Larry King Live," "Entertainment Tonight," and "Comics Unleashed."

Judy's stand-up routine is appropriately described as outrageous, mind-blowing comedy.
She recently became an ordained minister, and converts her audiences to her signature religion, "JUDYISM." A strong advocate for the gay community, children and women's issues, the fun-loving feminist preaches that all women should be worshipped as "LOVE GODDESSES!"

Some of Judy's roles include: An ex-showgirl turned wedding chaplain on "General Hospital," a snobby judge on "Corey in the House" and a featured role in the teen comedy hit "Material Girls," starring Hillary and Haley Duff and directed by Martha coolidge. Judy also produced and starred in "Desperation Boulevard" about a former child star who stops at nothing to make a comeback. Judy will soon appear in the Indie Film, "Sister Mary" with Bruce Vilanch.....SO WATCH OUT, MERYL STREEP! For more information go to www.judytenuta.com



Press Contact: BHBPR/B. Harlan Böll Tel 626-296-3757 E> h.boll@dcpublicity.com


‘The American Stage: Writing on Theater From Washington Irving to Tony Kushner’
A new Library of America anthology emphasizes theater as show over theater as art.








Talk about not catching a break: Eclipsed by movies on the pop culture front, the theater also gets shunned at literary functions. Now the Library of America has thrown salt in the wounds with "The American Stage," a mishmash of more than 200 years of theater writing.

A grab-bag sensibility is probably unavoidable, but by including not just criticism but also memoir, journalism and other varieties of scribbling, editor Laurence Senelick — a professor of drama at Tufts — practically ensures the book's lack of usefulness. Reports of rowdy audience apple-throwing are in; Gertrude Stein is out. The result is a collection only a theater professor at war with his more textually oriented English department colleagues could love.

"Whether it is a playgoer complaining of the hardness of the seats or a critic comparing interpretations of Hamlet, the most vital accounts are by eyewitnesses," Senelick writes in his introduction. He announces that the book isn't a documentary history or a series of scholarly appraisals or a collection of playwriting voices. What he fails to consider, however, is how his anti-literary corrective to theater studies can so easily reinforce anti-intellectual biases.

Theater as show trumps theater as art. Melodrama, particularly a 19th century blockbuster adaptation of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," is the subject of much attention, including recollections by Mark Twain, Henry James and Willa Cather. Senelick, in one of many fuzzy formulations, contends that melodrama "was congenial to the American temperament" and that it has gone on to have a life in the works of "the most honored American playwrights, from O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson and Elmer Rice, to Lillian Hellman and Tennessee Williams to Sam Shepard and David Mamet."

What he fails to consider adequately is that it was the dominant 19th century form of theater in Europe as well. And while vestiges of melodrama can be found wherever a dogged scholar seeks them out, a more instructive model for understanding 20th century American playwriting exists in the European rebellions against melodrama waged by such seminal figures as Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Anton Chekhov and George Bernard Shaw.

America's colonial past has played a role in the culture's cowering subservience to English theater. It's hard, though, to countenance Senelick's imprecise remark on the transatlantic relationship: "Even today, a ‘think play' from the West End is transferred to Broadway each season as the theatrical equivalent of the coffee-table book." But then, Senelick doesn't want to consider the impact of our government's anemic support of the arts on substantive drama. In fact, he has the temerity to complain that American funding organizations are prejudiced against " ‘mere' entertainment." (Would he have the NEA support road companies of "Legally Blonde: The Musical"?)

"The American Stage" offers a good deal to savor, from the gold dust of praise for great actors (Stark Young on John Barrymore, John Mason Brown on Lee J. Cobb, Gore Vidal on Kim Stanley) to diamond-sharp insights into master dramatists (George Jean Nathan on Eugene O'Neill, Harold Clurman on Clifford Odets). But to find it, you have to pick your way through piles of detritus.
I found it difficult to understand the short shrift given to avant-garde performance, which along with musical comedy and our domestic brands of Method acting is the most original American contribution to world theater. ( Elizabeth Hardwick's desultory "Notes on the New Theater" barely scratches the surface, and how can there be no sustained discussion of the Wooster Group, Richard Foreman or Robert Wilson?)

But harder to justify is what has been included.


The two selections of James — one a roundup, the other an excerpt from his memoir "A Small Boy and Others" — offer virtually no indication that his theater criticism represents some of the most resplendent in the English language.

Mary McCarthy, notorious for getting it wrong when covering drama for Partisan Review, makes a cameo with a ludicrous attack on Tennessee Williams as a commercial hack. John Simon's "Boredom in the Theatre," riddled with peremptory potshots at Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder and Harold Pinter, offers a polemic destined for the trash bin not marked for recyclables.

Perhaps these critics could have been better represented, but why not substitute in the more expansive Richard Gilman and Robert Brustein, both inexplicably exiled? Frank Rich has to be considered the best theater reviewer at a daily newspaper in more than a generation, yet his only appearance is a lightweight piece on Carol Channing reprising her turn in "Hello, Dolly!" And what do we make of the single piece by Walter Kerr, one of the 20th century's most dashing journalistic stylists? His middlebrow aesthetic led to some obtuse verdicts (he was immune to Beckett), but there are far more dazzling jewels in his oeuvre than the tidbit titled "Barns," a parasol-twirling paean to summer theater.

"The American Stage" succeeds perhaps only in reassuring us that the problems of the commercial theater are perennial. (Thomas M. Disch's "The Death of Broadway" and a selection from William Goldman's classic "The Season" make this depressingly clear.) Although it's disappointing how little interest the book has in what's going on outside New York, no one should be surprised that John Lithgow was asked to write the foreword. The star system is alive and well — and not just on the Great White Way.

McNulty is The Times' theater critic.

charles.mcnulty@latimes.com



David Cromer to Direct Broadway Production of ‘Yank!’
(SOURCE: PATRICK HEALY,New York Times)
The acclaimed director David Cromer (“Our Town,” “When the Rain Stops Falling”) has been enlisted to lead next season’s expected Broadway production of “Yank!,” a musical about two American servicemen who fall in love during World War II, the producers said on Monday.

Mr. Cromer will replace Igor Goldin, who has been with “Yank!” since its inception at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2005 and who directed the Off Broadway production of the show this winter. Theater critics also pointed to some problems with the musical during this winter’s run, at least some of which Mr. Cromer will undoubtedly address for Broadway.
Mr. Cromer has also drawn critical praise and theater honors as director of the 2008 Off Broadway musical “Adding Machine” and the Lincoln Center Theater production of “When the Rain Stops Falling” this spring. His Broadway debut came last fall, with the revival of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” which drew generally positive reviews but closed just a week after opening night because of poor ticket sales.

A spokesman for “Yank!” did not immediately respond to a message about why Mr. Goldin was being replaced.
No performance schedule or casting has been announced for the Broadway production, only that it is expected to come during the 2010-11 season. The actor Bobby Steggert, who starred in the Off Broadway production and was just nominated for a Tony Award for featured actor in a musical for “Ragtime,” has said that he would like to return for the Broadway run.


The High Price of Facebook



Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at a conference in San Francisco on April 21, 2010
By Daniel Lyons | NEWSWEEK
Published May 13, 2010
From the magazine issue dated May 31, 2010


If you don't spend your days glued to tech blogs, you might not know about the latest trend among hipster techies: quitting Facebook. These folks, including a bunch of Google engineers, are bailing out because Facebook just changed its rules so that much of your personal profile information, including where you work, what music you like, and where you went to school, now gets made public by default. Some info is even shared with companies that are special partners of Facebook, like Yelp, Pandora, and Microsoft. And while there are ways to dial back on some of this by tinkering with your privacy settings, it's tricky to figure out—intentionally so, according to cynics.


The fear is that people are being lured into Facebook with the promise of a fun, free service, and don't realize that they're paying for it by giving up loads of personal information. Facebook then attempts to "monetize" one's data by selling it to advertisers that want to send targeted messages.

Most folks using Facebook have no idea this is happening. Even if you're very tech-savvy and do know what the company is up to, you still have no idea what you're paying for Facebook, because people don't really know what their personal data is worth.

The biggest problem, however, is that the company keeps changing the rules. Early on, you could keep everything private. That was the great thing about Facebook—you could create your own little private network. Last year, the company changed its privacy rules so that a lot of things—your city, your profile photo, the names of your friends—were set, by default, to be shared with everyone on the Internet. Sure, you could change everything back and make it private. But most people probably didn't bother. Now Facebook is going even further by insisting that unless you agree to make things like your hometown, interests, and friends' names public, then you can't list them at all.


The whole kerfuffle is a misunderstanding, according to Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president of communications and public policy. In his version of events, the company is simply making changes to improve the service it provides to users by giving them more "granular" control over what they share, and if people don't share information they have a "less satisfying experience." Facebook is innovating so rapidly, he says, that people don't fully understand what the company is doing, and that change is scary.

Midnight Masquerade is back after a terrific run in March!

During a period of five years after World War II, Bernie Bierman – alongside his partner Jack Manus – wrote dozens of songs on Tin Pan Alley that made the top of the Hit Parade charts. His songs have been sung by Big Band greats like Don Cherry, Frankie Laine, Eddy Howard, Sammy Kaye Harry James, Billy Eckstine, and even Frank Sinatra.

While Jack Manus is no longer with us, Bernie Bierman is alive and well at the ripe old age of 101.75, making him one of the last surviving lyricist/composers of the 1940’s American Songbook!
For one night in May, consummate host and singer Joe Bachana and his big band of tuxedo-dressed musicians bring back a glamorous night of lush music from that vibrant period in American history.

Here’s what some of the reviewers said about the show:

Roy Sander on Bistroawards.com, wrote that “Midnight Masquerade” was “a lovely and loving evocation of that other time, that other view of life” and “Bachana is the ideal person to present these songs, for he embodies the very same qualities; charming and completely disarming, with a smooth, attractive baritone, he is the quintessential band singer—as pleasing to listen to as to be with.”

Rob Lester on NightlifeExchange.com wrote: “Nostalgia reigned supreme, optimism and sweetness fought cynicism, and came up the victors. Joe the pro, with arms outstretched and singing sincerely and irony-free was like a big band singer of yore, also championing the songs and their sensibilities.”

Don’t miss this incredible and charming night of authentic 1940’s-era music – we guarantee you will be transported back in time!

Joe Bachana, a native New Yorker, has been performing on the New York stage since childhood. In the past, Joe hosted the ever-popular MetroJam cabaret night at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan and also produced and hosted at the New York Friars Club weekly Cafe Night on Thursdays in the early 2000’s. In addition to the Metropolitan Room, Joe has performed at Birdland, the West End Gate, the Duplex , the River Room of Harlem and many other venues throughout Manhattan and beyond.
Along with his career as a singer, Joe also is a classical pianist, having recently performed a solo concert at the National Arts Club. Clips of that performance and others by Joe may be found on youtube.com

20.00 Cover + 2 Beverage Minimum



LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Announces Opening Of CLUB LA CAGE



(SOURCE: BROADWAYWORLD.COM)


LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, is pleased to announce CLUB LA CAGE, the official post-theatre entertainment and dining experience!

After catching the smash hit musical revival of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street), the evening continues next door at CLUB LA CAGE, nestled within the newly renovated 3rd floor bar and terrace at Hurley's (232 West 48th Street) . CLUB LA CAGE is open Saturdays at 11:15 PM and Sundays at 10:15 PM.

At CLUB LA CAGE, acclaimed singer and performer Raven O hosts a nightlife spectacle featuring a revolving cast of New York City's top drag entertainers and an assortment of exciting and surprising special guests. CLUB LA CAGE will feature appearances by drag personalities Peppermint, Sherry Vine, Lauren Ordair, Flotilla DeBarge and more.

There is a $12 cover for CLUB LA CAGE. Present your LA CAGE AUX FOLLES ticket for a 10% discount on all food and beverages. Restrictions apply.

Visit www.ClubLaCage.com for more information.

CLUB LA CAGE BIOGRAPHIES


Raven O is gearing up for the summer run of his one-man show, Raven O - One Night With You at the Bleecker St. Theater, NYC. He continues to be the star of the outlandish nightclub The Box on Thursday nights. Raven just completed a two-and-a-half year run of nightly shows at The Box where he was known as "the glue" which helped make the club one of the most famous clubs in the world. Raven was a recent hit as the Master of Ceremonies and performer at Simon Cowell's 50th birthday celebration in England. He is known as the entertainer the famous come to see. Jude Law, Sting, Josh Lucas, Lindsay Lohan, Mary J. Blige, Alan Cumming, Kevin Spacey, Kate Moss, Simon Cowell...the list is endless. In his early days he studied everything from classical ballet to traditional Hula, using his talents to get gigs in musical theatre, dance concerts, and even as a stripper in a women's only club. Raven hit New York City at 18 and quickly became a fixture in the punk and post-punk scenes. He toured as a singer with Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls. He was first a go-go boy at the notorious Limelight and a Cat Clubdancer. Before landing his gig at The Box, Raven spent three years in Las Vegas as one of the stars of the Cirque du Soleil show, Zumanity. www.raven-o.com

Peppermint, the hardest working woman in show business, she has conquered the New York scene with her high-energy and engaging personality. With consecutive shows 7 nights a week, Peppermint has the largest following of ANY drag performer in NY and has been named Best Breakthrough Artist, Best Host/MC, and Entertainer of the Year and nominated Best Pop Video, Best Vocalist, Best Dancer by L Magazine, The Village Voice & HX Magazine. From her comedic and lively hosting to her live music performances of pop, rock and hip-hop, Peppermint's refreshing style has helped develop a dedicated and eclectic audience. With an inherent versatility, she's made the ultimate leap from fun entertainer to serious recording artist.
"Servin it Up"* was named one of the Top songs of the Year by Next Magazine and HX Magazine. The "Servin It Up" video held its position on MTV/Logo's Top 10 for severAl Weeks.
Peppermint was recently featured on MTV's The Real World Brooklyn and has been featured in videos with Debbie Harry and the Scissor Sisters. She has also performed alongside Chaka Khan, Martha Wash and Ultra Nate' for packed houses around the world and she recently took her show (complete with backup dancers and pyrotechnics) overseas to London and Australia. Peppermint has helped raise over $100,000 for the Human Rights Campaign (including a large bid from Vanessa Williams). She is deeply involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and participant in the M.A.C. Aids Fund and Project Achieve. www.peppermintonline.com

Sherry Vine was born in the Amish country. On her 16th birthday, she discovered she was adopted and actually Jewish. Running away from home she became a "show girl" in Las Vegas before relocating to NYC where she has established herself as one of the leading ladies performing her all live singing and comedy show internationally on stage, TV and film. Miss Vine lived in Berlin from 2001 ‘til 2005 and is now happy to be back home in Manhattan. Sherry has starred in the smash theatrical productions of The Bad Weed '73 (in NYC, LA and Provincetown), e.s.p. - Eyes of a Supermodel Psychic ("The Underground hit of the Season" - NY Times), The Final Feast of Lucrezia Borgia ("Move over gals, NYC has a serious stage diva in Sherry Vine" - Paper Magazine), her one-woman/ten character hit, Kitty Killer, the completely sold out mega-hit Charlie!, the off-Broadway transfer of Tell-Tale at the Cherry Lane Theatre ("Almost impossible not to have a good time" - NY Times), Doll ("One of downtown's most innovative and eye-popping Theatre Companies!" - Encore) and most recently in the wildly successful sold out adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. All shows were produced by Theatre Couture, of which Sherry is co-Artistic Director with Joshua Rosenzweig and Erik Jackson. Sherry can be seen in the films Charlie, Francesca Page, Wigstock, Stonewall, Scream, Teen, Scream ("the best comedic performance of the year" - LA Weekly), The RuPaul Christmas Special, Mutti The Movie, Raspberry Reich, The Charmed Life, Squeezebox The Movie and Mr. & Mrs. Porebski (co-written with Marec Porebski). Sherry was voted Entertainer of the Year by her peers and honored with the first Glammy Award. HX Drag Queen of the Year, 2007. www.sherryvine.com


Lauren Ordair is a Michigan transplant, but has been living it up in New York for quite some time. However, she has only been Dragging for about a year, but even though she is a youngster, she will give you a run for your money! With a vocal performance background from The New School and a Musical Theatre Certificate from The American Musical and Dramatics Academy this young girlie is ready to show people the powerful voice of a Midwest Lady. As well as her performance here she has performed in a selection of bar cabarets around the city and is excited to just keep on singing! In addition to her love for singing she enjoys horror movies, wine from a box, and being with good friends. She send a special thanks out to God, her mom, D squared, Matty, Chaddy-pooh, and bayba.

Flotilla DeBarge, the Empress of Large, has long been a popular figure within the New York City nightlife scene. She has been cast in several movies such as To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, Marci X and the miniseries version of Angels in America. Flotilla appeared on Broadway in The Threepenny Opera as well as performing an Off-Broadway one-woman show, The Flotilla DeBarge Minstrel Show. DeBarge garnered considerable attention in 2005 when PETA featured Flotilla, as Star Jones, in an anti-fur ad. Jones reportedly threatened to sue both PETA and Flotilla as a result of the ad, DeBarge created a new solo show based on her jail time experience, Flotilla DeBarge: Freshly Released - Black, Blessed & Free. Of her time in jail DeBarge would later say, "It certainly wasn't OZ, honey. There was no Chris Meloni in sight."

www.ClubLaCage.com


LA CAGE AUX FOLLES opened on Broadway to rave reviews on April 18. The production has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Kelsey Grammer), Best Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Robin De Jesús), Best Direction of a Musical (Terry Johnson), Best Choreography (Lynne Page), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Tim Shortall), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Matthew Wright), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Nick Richings), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Jonathan Deans) and Best Orchestrations (Jason Carr).

LA CAGE is the winner of four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge), Best Director of a Musical (Terry Johnson) and Best Costumes (Matthew Wright) and has also been nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical and three Drama League Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play by Jean Poiret. This freshly reconceived production is choreographed by Lynne Page and directed by Terry Johnson.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES stars five-time Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer as Georges and Olivier Award-winner Douglas Hodge as Albin, and also stars Fred Applegate as Edouard Dindon/M. Renaud; Tony nominee Veanne Cox as Mme. Dindon/Mme. Renaud; Chris Hoch as Francis; Elena Shaddow as Anne; A.J. Shively as Jean-Michel; with two-time Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas as Jacqueline; Tony Award nominee Robin de Jesús as Jacob; with Heather Lindell as Colette; Bill Nolte as Tabarro and David Nathan Perlow as Etienne.
Also starring as the notorious and dangerous Cagelles are Nick Adams as Angelique, Sean A. Carmon as Phaedra, Nicholas Cunningham as Hanna, Sean Patrick Doyle as Chantal, Logan Keslar as Bitelle and Terry Lavell as Mercedes. The production also features Christophe Caballero, Todd Lattimore, Dale Hensley, Caitlin Mundth and Cheryl Stern.


Douglas Hodge and Nicholas Cunningham are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors' Equity Association for its assistance to this production.

Georges (Kelsey Grammer) is the suave owner of a glitzy drag club on the French Riviera. Partnered romantically with his high-strung star performer, Albin (Douglas Hodge), the pair live a charmed life-until Georges' son announces his engagement to the daughter of a conservative right-wing politician who's coming to dinner.

The original production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES was one of Broadway's biggest hits of the 1980s. It opened August 21, 1983 at the Palace Theatre, where it played for over four years and 1,761 performances. The show won six Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Musical, Best Score (Jerry Herman) and Best Book (Harvey Fierstein).

The new production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES played from November 23, 2007 to March 8, 2008 at the Menier Chocolate Factory, earning across the board raves and moving to the West End's Playhouse Theatre On October 30, 2008, where it was nominated for seven 2009 Olivier Awards, winning for Best Musical Revival and Best Actor in a Musical for Douglas Hodge and won the 2009 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Musical.

"A glorious night of showbiz razzle dazzle!" exclaimed Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph. "At last a musical to sweep away those credit-crunch blues. This joyous show deserves every hurrah and standing ovation it receives." "Suddenly, the West End sparkles," cheered Sam Marlowe, The Times.
"Sew on a sequin, slip into some heels and go."
The production features set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Nick Richings, sound design by Jonathan Deans and wig and makeup design by Richard Mawbey. Musical supervision, orchestrations and dance arrangements are by Jason Carr. Musical director is Todd Ellison.

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, David Babani, Fran and Barry Weissler and Edwin W. Schloss, Bartner/Tulchin, Broadway Across America, Matthew Mitchell, Raise the Roof 4 Richard Winkler/Bensinger Taylor/Laudenslager Bergère, Arlene Scanlan/John O'Boyle, Independent Presenters Network, Olympus Theatricals, Allen Spivak, Jerry Frankel/Bat-Barry Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc/Harvey Weinstein.


Tickets ($132.50 - $36.50; Premium $251.50; Table Seating $251.50) are on sale through Telecharge.com at 212-239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com/lacage and at the Longacre Theatre box office (220 West 48th Street). Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 7:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:30 PM. Special Sunday matinee time on June 13 at 2:00 PM. Beginning June 20, Sunday matinees are at 3:00 PM.

www.LaCage.com


Actors lose out on health benefits as SAG, AFTRA keep separate plans

Actors find it increasingly difficult to meet earnings thresholds for receiving benefits, because their income is carved up between the unions. That's one reason a merger is again under discussion.


(SOURCE: Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times)






Fred Ochs' second career as an actor took off last year. The 62-year-old former software engineer landed gigs on nine TV shows, playing the singing policeman in the crime series "The Mentalist," Judge Belford in Showtime's dark "Dexter" and a probate attorney in the A&E drama "The Cleaner."

Now if he could just get health insurance to go along with the steady work. Ochs' pulmonologist has urged him to get examined for a shadow on his lungs. Because his acting work is divided between the two actors unions, Ochs will have to pay for the exam himself.

"It was a great year for me, but because of the way my work was split between SAG and AFTRA, I didn't make enough in either union to qualify," said Ochs, who lives in Hollywood. "It's just plain absurd."

Like children caught in the middle of a parental spat, actors are enduring unintended consequences of a feud that erupted two years ago when the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists suspended its longtime partnership with the Screen Actors Guild to negotiate prime-time TV contracts.


Journeyman actors like Ochs have traditionally earned middle-class wages from playing supporting characters in countless TV dramas, sitcoms and movies.
But now they are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the earnings thresholds required for receiving benefits, which range from about $10,000 to $30,000 a year, because their income is carved up between two unions. Each union has separate health and pension plans, and they don't allow contributions to be combined.

"People are very, very upset and worried," said Kevin E. West, founder of the Actors Network, a professional business organization for actors.
"It's a huge problem that affects several hundred working actors."

The sparring between AFTRA and SAG — over turf and strategy — paved the way for AFTRA to clinch its own contract with the studios, which rushed to embrace the ambitious union as a hedge against the more unpredictable SAG.


As a result, the studios swung many of their labor contracts covering network prime-time TV pilots to AFTRA, an incursion that's led to near-100% penetration this year when the smaller actors union won contracts for 81 of 83 pilots.
Health coverage wasn't always a problem.

When SAG dominated prime-time TV contracts, the actors in those shows worked largely under one union roof. But with the landscape now shared by two unions, an actor may work on an older TV series covered by a SAG contract and next take a role on a newer TV series under an AFTRA contract, often not earning enough in either union to meet health plan requirements.
Actors for years have debated merging their unions, but previous attempts in 1999 and 2003 failed, reflecting long-standing mistrust between member factions.
But growing concern over how the status quo is affecting health and pension benefits for actors has renewed the impetus to consolidate the two unions so that a single plan could be offered.

Leaders of both have had preliminary discussions about merging.
"Pension and health benefits are a cornerstone of union protection," SAG President Ken Howard said. "When actors' work is split between two unions, that protection is weakened or, in the worst cases, eliminated. That's not acceptable, and it's one of many reasons merging SAG and AFTRA makes sense."
AFTRA President Roberta Reardon said gaining leverage in bargaining and union organizing was the driving reason to merge but added: "I completely agree it would be great to have one health insurance policy and one retirement plan."
That AFTRA, which until recently was pegged as a secondary union for actors who worked mostly on soaps and some cable programs, would emerge seemingly overnight as the go-to union for prime-time TV is a reversal for the more prestigious SAG, which still has exclusive jurisdiction over feature film work.
Although the unions have agreed to resume joint bargaining in the upcoming round of negotiations this fall, actors are still feeling the fallout from the dispute.

"One extra SAG job would have put me over the earnings threshold," said Ochs, who says he can't afford to pay $600 a month for private insurance.
"It's a kick in the gut."

And the kick couldn't come at a worse time.

Both unions have steadily raised earnings requirements for insurance at a time when reality TV programs have taken away jobs, movie stars increasingly are filling guest star roles on TV shows and the income that actors get from residuals — the fees paid out when shows rerun — has shrunk.


Cost-cutting in Hollywood also has made it much harder for actors to get their "quotes," the fees that reflect their experience, thereby lowering their earnings and ability to qualify for health insurance.
Beyond earning enough to qualify for insurance, Los Angeles-based actors like Wendy Worthington also complain that the situation is weakening pension benefits.

After a nearly two-decade career playing roles on TV shows including "Desperate Housewives" and "Ghost Whisperer," Worthington, 55, has earned enough credits to be fully vested in the Screen Actors Guild pension plan. With more TV jobs swinging to AFTRA, however, she has less money to pump into her SAG pension, damping the eventual payout she will receive when she retires.

And because Worthington spent most of her career working in SAG, it's doubtful she will qualify for AFTRA's pension plan any time soon.

"I like to joke that I wish they would just send me the cash that I earned under my AFTRA contracts so I could put it in the shredder myself, because it's just lost money for me," she said.
richard.verrier@latimes.com
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times


I'll give the guy credit for promptly resigning in the face of his hypocrisy.
Ironically, there was also a video on YouTube featuring the congressman & the same staffer having a moderated discussion about the importance of abstinence-only sex education in the schools.... until it was removed this soon after his announcement.

Marriage is between a man, a woman – and a mistress



Indiana Rep. Mark Souder – a Republican – is resigning because he had an affair with a female staffer.

So perhaps it’s not a surprise that he’s also a proponent of marriage being only between a man and a woman. He voted to Constitutionally ban gay marriage because, he says, it’s an assault on American values.

From Souder’s website:
“I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation. The family plays a fundamental role in our society. Studies consistently demonstrate that it is best for a child to have a mother and father, and I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman.”

So…mistresses are OK. But two gay people in a committed relationship? That’s anti-American.

So far, he hasn’t blamed gay marriage in DC for weakening his own marriage – but that’s gotta be the next step.


Soap star Michael Park plays multiple roles in a new musical

Michael Park has spent fourteen years playing Detective Jack Snyder on As the World Turns, but he’s had less than four months to develop four characters in the new Off-Broadway musical The Burnt Part Boys.

That’s certainly a departure from his soap opera gig, and not just because he only plays one character on television. For one thing, the series regularly requires him to learn up to forty pages of a script overnight. “My short term memory has completely taken over my long term memory,” Park says. “That doesn’t lend itself to theatre work, really. [In the theatre,] it’ll take me two seconds to learn a scene, but I have to retain the knowledge of that scene, the beats of that scene.”

Yet this isn’t the first time he’s had to juggle his stage and soap commitments. In 1997, the year he joined As the World Turns, Park was also in the musical Violet, produced at Playwrights Horizons. (The company is also staging The Burnt Part Boys—in a coproduction with The Vineyard Theatre—so this show is something of a homecoming.)

Then as now, he values the freedom that the theatre gives actors to experiment and grow, and he says that playing multiple roles in The Burnt Part Boys is pushing him in unusual directions.

With a score by Chris Miller, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, and a book by Mariana Elder, the show follows a young boy who decides to detonate the West Virginia coal mine where his father was killed in an accident.
He imagines he’s John Wayne in The Alamo, and Park plays an assortment of characters from that film (including legendary figures like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie) that crop up in the boy’s fantasies and help guide him on his journey. “I’m not the one driving the show,” he says, “But I add a little bit of salt and pepper to it.”

Director Joe Calarco has encouraged Park to adlib during the show, meaning he’s apt to run through the audience. The actor wanted to know whether he was allowed to wake patrons who might be dozing in the front row. Calarco said yes.

Park also credits Tim Sanford, Playwrights’ artistic director, with creating a relaxed atmosphere. “It was really a treat walking in those doors again,” he says. “I’m a lot looser and a little more carefree this time.”

That said, he recognizes the all-too-serious relevance of the show’s subject matter. The musical is set in West Virginia in 1962, but with the recent West Virginia mining tragedies still making headlines, things don’t seem all that different now. “In a way, I feel like we’re celebrating what these people do and the dangers that they face every day. But we’re not trying to profit off the tragedies of the past month,” he says.


As the show’s opening on May 25 draws near, Park is working to balance the historical, fantastical, and contemporary elements of his performance. However, he expects that he’ll keep refining his work well into the run. “You can’t be complacent,” he says. He likens this sentiment to the experience of being in front of the camera on As the World Turns.
“Every time I see that red light go on, I have a heart attack,” he says. “But the second you’re not having that heart attack, quit. You’re done.”

Laura Hedli is a theatre critic and reporter based in New York City


Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week!


Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out May 25th.
Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

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HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:


Sandee and I love Richard and Dana, We always have a good time at Iguana. The food is good and reasonable. Richard and Dana are the best host and Hostess in town. The talent is top notch, the jokes can make you laugh, and one can get home at a decent hour...
Michael Janin, Long Beach New York


I look forward to Wednesday night at the Iguana where I know I will be entertained in style and comfort. Richard and Dana are not only exceptional talents, but are also exceedlingly humorous and warm and gracious hosts.
I enjoy spreading the word to my friends who are now part of our expanding group on Wednesday nights.
Rita Golub, NYC



Hi Richard,
I had the pleasure of attending WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA this past Wednesday evening. I have to commend Richard Skipper and Dana Lorge for presenting a thoroughly delight-full evening with a talented array of performers.It was great hearing and seeing Richard & Dana performing live. As General MacArthur said, "I SHALL RETURN."
Len Schlosberg, Leonard Talent Associates Inc.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC THE AWARD WINNING WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA STARRING DANA LORGE, RICHARD SKIPPER, AND FRIENDS!
Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge (http://www.iguananyc.com) in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
WINNER OF TWO 2010 MANHATTAN ASSOCIATION OF CABARETS AND CLUBS AWARDS (MAC) FOR OUTSTANDING VARIETY SHOW AND OUTSTANDING HOSTS!
or more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_
RESERVATIONS A MUST!!!!!!!!
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WEDNESDAY NIGHT, May 26th: We celebrate 2010 MAC AWARD WINNER SUSAN WINTER'S BIRTHDAY!Barbara Porteus, Michelle Collier, 2010 Bistro Award winner Danielle Grabianowski, and Catt John!

June 2nd: D'Yan Forest and Tod Hall, Cindy Marchionda, and Pam Palmieri



June 16th: 2010 Meg Flather
, Julie Reyburn, Lisa Raze returns and Lorinda Lisitza joins us for the first time!


JUNE 23rd: CELEBRATING ONE YEAR OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA!Sigali Hamberger, Pam Tate




June 30th: KEVIN DOZIER!, TRAVIS MOSER RETURNS, Frank Torren!

JULY 7th: JON BURR & LYNN STEIN RETURN!


JULY 28: PAULETTE DOZIER RETURNS


TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL WEEK!